Thursday, July 18, 2024 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

John Edensor Littlewood (1885 – 1977)

British mathematician.
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John Edensor Littlewood
To illustrate to what extent Hardy and Littlewood in the course of the years came to be considered as the leaders of recent English mathematical research, I may report what an excellent colleague once jokingly said: 'Nowadays, there are only three really great English mathematicians: Hardy, Littlewood, and Hardy-Littlewood.'
Littlewood quotes
'The surprising thing about this paper is that a man who could write it--would.'
I recall once saying that when I had given the same lecture several times I couldn't help feeling that they really ought to know it by now.

I read in the proof-sheets of Hardy on Ramanujan: 'As someone said, each of the positive integers was one of his personal friends.' My reaction was, 'I wonder who said that; I wish I had.' In the next proof-sheets I read (what now stands): 'It was Littlewood who said...' (What had happened was that Hardy had received the remark in silence and with a poker face, and I wrote it off as a dud....)
Littlewood John Edensor
A good mathematical joke is better, and better mathematics, than a dozen mediocre papers.
It was Mr. Littlewood (I believe) who remarked that "every positive integer was one of his personal friends."
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